Video: Best Teleprompter App for iPad | Brighton West Video
Teleprompters are great for reading your script without looking like you’re reading your script. Teleprompters are actually affordable now because of the iPad. My favorite iPad app for teleprompting is PromptSmart. I use it with my Caddie Buddy teleprompter, which is just the metal, plastic and glass. Together, they allow you to look directly at the camera. Without the Caddie Buddy, you can still use the iPad and PromptSmart, but your eye line will be off just a little bit because the text is scrolling below the lens, not in front of it.
Let’s dig in for a quick overview of why I love PromptSmart. You can pick up PromptSmart in the App Store, I believe it’s $15 for the pro version, or you can get the lite version for free and then upgrade to the pro version, which is think is actually the cheaper way to go. If you get lite first then upgrade, I think you only have to pay $10, save a few bucks. The other option is to pay an ongoing fee of $2/month to get some additional features. We’re going to start up PromptSmart here from my desktop here. You’ll see that this is the homepage that comes up. You can see it’s got a number of different options, so let’s start out – in the upper left hand corner, that’s where you would add scripts. Once you have scripts loaded into your device there in your script library, I believe the free version only allows you to have one script at a time. Note cards are something that I haven’t really used, but the idea is for more like an outline or something like that.
It’s got a number of limitations that I don’t like – I’ll cover those in a little bit. Recording library is for if you are recording with your iPad. I'm not a big fan of that because your eye line gets off. Then you’ve got some app settings and frequently asked questions. Let’s start out in the upper left, like we’re adding a new script. There are a number of ways to do this. You could import from Google Docs or One Drive – a number of different places. You can type your script right here, or you can import note cards, or create a note card right here. I am just going to click New Script, and you’ll give it a name, and you type your script out here. It’s very simple. Just this, and when you’re done, hit save. Now I want to go through some of the settings. This is really some of the important stuff about using a teleprompter app. It’s down here, the little cogs.
You’ve got a number of things, like you can change the text color, the background color, font, font size – those are pretty self-explanatory. But you also have scroll settings, and this is really where PromptSmart wins the game. They have this thing called Voice Track. It will move the script forward; it will listen to your voice and move the script forward as you speak the words. Typically, I just use the preset scroll speeds. You kind of get the right speed then you have to follow along with it, or manually scrolling with your finger as you go. Voice track works really well. Just love that feature. Then another important one is the mirror text. Right now, it’s turned off. If you’re just looking directly at your iPad or your iPhone, you would want the mirroring off because you’re reading directly from the screen.
But if you’re using teleprompter hardware, which I'm a big fan of – I’ve got reviews on that; you can check for links down below – you would turn the mirroring on. What that does is that it projects your script backwards and then it bounces off the mirror that’s in front of the camera lens. That’s what makes it possible for you to read while looking at the camera, while the camera does not see the script. You can do things like turn on the timer, whether you want a guide – just something that points to a single line to kind of keep you on track of where you are. Whether you want to record the audio here, or video recording – is video and audio. Like I said, I'm not a big fan of that because if you’re recording with the camera on your iPhone or your iPad, it’s off to the side or above, and it’s going to look like you’re reading because you’re going to be looking off screen. So I'm very much a fan of using the hardware too. Skipping blank lines, skipping stage directions – these are some of the features that you get when you purchase the $2/month version.
Also, remote control, I think is part of the $2/month. A lot of that is not really all that necessary. You just load up your script, set the voice prompt, and read away. Let’s just go ahead and do that. I'm going to turn the mirroring off for now. Now I'm going to click the Back button and push the Play button. You’ll see it says Starting Voice Track. You have to be quiet and pretty silent during that so it knows when you’re speaking. Then you would start speaking the lines. This is a test. If you had more lines on there they will start scrolling up with that voice track, which is a really cool feature of PromptSmart. I'm just going to click the ‘x’. One of the things I want to mention is you can use the finger along the screen here to move things up and down, like if you get a little bit off-track sometimes if the script is repetitive, you can always move it around.
So I’m just going to click the ‘x’, and we’re done. You can go then to your next script. This is pretty much it. If you have recorded, you’ll have a recording library here. But like I said, I'm not as big of a fan of using it that way because the lens isn’t directly behind what you’re seeing. Another thing to mention is that the further away that you are from this, the less your eyes will move around. I also have some other suggestions on how to look good while reading from a teleprompter. I've used a number of different apps; I think I still have one on here – Prompt+ 3. They cost different amounts of money and have different amounts of control. PromptSmart seems to be the most smooth. The only thing is they don’t update their website very often; they do update the app though. It looks pretty out of date, but if a new version of iOS comes out, they will update the app so it continues working. I can’t say that that’s going to work forever, but it is definitely my favorite compared to any of the other teleprompting apps that I have seen out there on the market. If you want to learn more about teleprompters, I've got a number of my teleprompter videos up on the screen here, so feel free to click on one of those to learn some more about using teleprompters.